How to visit the epic Angkor Wat in 2 days (2024)

The temples of Angkor in Cambodia are a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience. In this guide, I break down how to visit the magnificent Angkor Wat in 2 days.

Plan your trip to Angkor Wat

👩🏻 Best guided tours to Angkor Wat

🏡 Where to stay in Siem Reap

I remember the first time I visited Angkor Wat. It was in 2006 and I knew absolutely nothing about the site. Which temples to visit, how to get around, photography tips and the story….

I had no clue.

This time, however, I read up on the story and tips. And now..

I’VE BEEN WOOED!

In total, there are more than 1,000 temples spread out over an area of 400 square kilometers. As you can imagine, there are way too many to explore. That’s why I’ve made this post with the most popular temples.

In my other post about Angkor Wat, you’ll get all the information about prices, dangers, how to get around, and much more.

For now, here are the top temples of Angkor Wat in 2 days.

Angkor Wat in 2 days

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2 days in Angkor Wat

About Angkor Wat

Angkor Archaeological Park in Cambodia is a top bucket list destination in Southeast Asia.

Situated near Siem Reap, this vast 250-square-mile complex, made of sandstone, dates back to between the 9th and 15th centuries.

It’s the largest religious monument in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Angkor Wat in 2 days
Angkor Wat itinerary

Angkor Wat in 2 days

Wondering how long to visit Angkor Wat temple? I always recommend visiting Angkor Wat in 2 days to fully explore the most important temples without feeling overwhelmed.

Day 1
Sunrise at Angkor Wat (only if you’re visiting during high season), Bayon, Ta Prohm temple, Baphuon

Day 2 
Angkor Thom gate, Angkor Wat, Preah Khan, Ta Som, sunset at Phnom Bakheng

Angkor Wat in 2 days
Indiana Jones Angkor Wat scene

What to see in Angkor

With more than 1,000 temples, it can be a jungle to figure out which places to visit in Angkor. These are the highlights you shouldn’t miss:

Sunrise & sunset 

You can watch the sunrise from Angkor Wat (the most popular) or Srah Srang and the sunset from Phnom Bakheng (the most popular), Angkor Wat, or Pimeanakas

Trees growing from temple ruins

Ta Prohm, Banteay Kdei, Ta Som

Faces

Bayon, Angkor Thom gates, Banteay Kdeo, Preah Khan temple, Ta Prohm

Intricate carvings

Bakong, Bayon, Terrace of the Leper King, Banteay Srey, Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat in 2 days

How to go to Angkor Wat

These are the best ways to reach Angkor Wat from Siem Reap:

  1. Hire a tuk-tuk driver for a local experience (ask your hotel)
  2. Book a guided tour for in-depth insights
  3. Take a taxi for comfort and flexibility.

I suggest taking a tour of Angkor Wat. The guides really know their stuff, and they show you the best spots while sharing exciting stories and history.

This Angkor Wat 2 day tour from Siem Reap includes everything – sunrise, sunset, and all the best temples!

Book here – The best Angkor Wat tour package (⭐ 5/5)

How to buy Angkor Wat tickets

You have two options when it comes to buying tickets for Angkor Wat. Either buy them directly at the ticket office or through Viator or GetYourGuide.

Directly

The ticket office is located on Road 60, 4km from Siem Reap.

Since there’s no 2-day pass, I recommend getting the 3-day pass – even if you’re not planning on spending 3 days at the Angkor Wat complex. It’s cheaper and more convenient than getting two 1-Day Passes.

The best part? You don’t need to use it on consecutive days. You can take a break in between.

Through Viator

You can also buy an entrance ticket online, which saves you a trip to the ticket office.

Through Viator, you can book a tour with a tour guide – which is what I recommend. This 2-day tour is the perfect option, which the ratings also reflect!

Angkor Wat in 2 days

Day 1

With 2 days in Angkor Wat, begin your first day with a sunrise at Angkor Wat. Then head to Bayon, Ta Prohm and Baphuon.

Angkor Wat

Behold…. The mighty Angkor Wat.

Impressive, huh?

This massive three-tiered pyramid is crowned by five lotus-like towers rising 65 meters from the ground.

Also, this particular spot is where you’d be watching the sunrise with a gazillion other tourists (don’t say I didn’t warn you). You’ll need to be here at 5.15 am!

I haven’t had the pleasure myself, but supposedly it’s only really good twice a year. If I were you and I visited during the high season (January – March), I’d still go for it though. Who knows, you might be lucky.

Afterwards, you can climb the towers and catch a view of the entire site. The steps are insanely steep, but the view is absolutely worth it.

Angkor Wat in 2 days
Angkor Wat 2 days itinerary

Bayon Temple

Bayon should be the next stop on your tour. This temple group is known for the unique carvings of faces, which is classic Khmer art and architecture.

Bayon has 37 towers and almost every one of them has four carved faces. It’s debated who the faces represent, but presumably, it’s Buddha or the king who built them (Jayavarman VII).

The highlight of Bayon is the bas-reliefs on the exterior walls near the stone faces. Also, note the unfinished carvings on other walls.

Bayon is surrounded by high jungle which can make it a bit dark for photography around sunrise and sunset.

Angkor Wat in 2 days
Angkor Wat in 2 days

Ta Prohm

Have you seen this photo before?

No? Really?

You guys, it’s from Tomb Raider. Before starring in an Angelina Jolie movie, Ta Prohm was a Buddhist temple built for the mother of King Jayavarman VII. Today it has been largely left to the clutches of the living jungle.

Angkor Wat in 2 days
Tomb Raider scene minus Lara Croft

So, here’s a thought:

If you see only two temples, it should be Bayon and…. Ta Prohm.

Gasp!

I know, I know. I’m supposed to say Angkor Wat, but… I can’t.

Angkor Wat is tremendous. Extraordinary even. And it’s not to be missed. But the truth is that while Angkor Wat was breathtaking, huge, and crowded, I was just more impressed with Ta Prohm.

It had that Indiana Jones vibe going on; buried in the jungle and all. Also, I’m really fascinated by trees growing into temples. Aren’t you?

Angkor Wat in 2 days
Angkor Wat in 2 days
And this. How cool is that?!

Baphuon Temple

Inside the walls of Angkor Thom, you’ll also find Baphuon temple, which is a temple mountain built as a state temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.

Note the unique animal carvings at the walkway entrance and the impressively large reclining Buddha on the west side.

By now you’re probably pretty templed out. And if you can’t stand the thought of one more jungle temple, that’s alright. It’s probably really hot and humid, too.

I know the sticky feeling.

You can head back to your hotel in Siem Reap now and continue temple exploring tomorrow or the day after.

Angkor Wat in 2 days

Day 2

Preah Khan

First visit of the day should be Preah Khan.

This beautiful temple is full of carvings, passages, and photo opportunities. Like architecturally similar to Ta Prohm, this temple is also nearly swallowed by massive roots of huge trees.

And oooh, we like those.

Angkor Wat in 2 days

Angkor Thom Gate

Only one kilometer east of Ta Prohm, you’ll find Angkor Thom (Big Angkor); a 3-kilometer walled city with five entrances.

Each gate is crowned with four giant faces as you see in the photo below. Bayon is at the center of the city.

Angkor Wat in 2 days
The South Gate is often the first stop on a tour

Ta Som

Ta Som is the most distant temple in the Grand Circuit. It’s definitely worth a visit, but it takes a while to get there by tuk-tuk (30 minutes).

At Ta Som, you should look for the apsara carvings, stone face carvings, the jungle temple atmosphere, and the famous Ta Som gateway with roots of an old banyan tree.

Photography tip: Ta Som is best photographed in the afternoon, so visit after lunch.

Angkor Wat in 2 days
Angkor Wat in 2 days
The famous Ta Som doorway

Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei temple is famous for its pink stone and fine carvings. Built in 967 CE, it’s small but known for its detailed artistry.

The temple is dedicated to Shiva and it’s called ‘Citadel of the Women’ because the carvings are so delicate, that people think they were made by a woman.

Angkor Wat - Banteay Srei

Sunset at Phnom Bakheng

Catch the sunset at Phnom Bakhen, which is the highest temple in the Angkor Archeological Park.

This is where you’ll get the best panoramic views of the whole area.

FAQ – Angkor Wat in 2 days

Is two days enough for Angkor Wat?

Yes, two days at Angkor Wat is enough if you plan well.

Focus on the main temples like Angkor Wat, Bayon, and Ta Prohm. Start early to beat the crowds and the heat. Use the afternoons for smaller, less crowded temples.

It’s a tight schedule, but you can cover the highlights. Remember, a good guide can enrich the experience.

How much time do I need at Angkor Wat?

Ideally, spend 2-3 days at Angkor Wat. This gives you enough time to see the major sites without rushing.

On day one, explore the iconic Angkor Wat and nearby temples.

On day two, visit further out places like Banteay Srei. Use the third day for anything you missed or to revisit favorites. This pace allows for a more in-depth experience.

Is 3 days enough for Angkor Wat?

Absolutely, 3 days at Angkor Wat is a good amount of time. This gives you a thorough look without overdoing it.

Is 1 day enough for Angkor Wat?

One day at Angkor Wat is tight but doable for some of the highlights.

Focus on the main temples: Angkor Wat, Bayon, and Ta Prohm. Start early to maximize your time, and be prepared for a busy day. You won’t see everything, but you’ll cover the essentials.

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Explore the ancient wonders of Angkor Wat in 2 days with this curated itinerary. Discover the majestic temples and hidden gems of Cambodia's iconic archaeological site. Day one covers the must-see Angkor Wat, Bayon, and Ta Prohm temples, immersing you in their history and beauty. Day two takes you to lesser-known sites for a deeper understanding of Angkorian culture. Perfect for history enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Includes tips for avoiding crowds and maximizing your visit. #AngkorWat #CambodiaTravel #TempleTour

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30 Comments

  1. Lovely photos, Miriam! I also found Ta Prohm to be very impressive, as well as Baphuon. The sunrise at Angkor Wat was incredible, but the crowds were horrendous!

    1. Thank you, Ashley! Yeah, I’ve heard that the crowds are horrible, but it wouldn’t stop me from going, though. I’m glad you got to experience it!

  2. I must say seeing Angkor Wat in 2 days is a big challenge because there are so many temples around that it takes ages to see them all. Great itinerary!

    1. Thanks! Unless you’re archaeologically interested, I think most people get templed out quickly. I’ve found a two day itinerary to be the best way to get most of of visiting.

  3. Angkor Wat was so impressive! I agree, 2 days is about the right amount of time to experience them. You could spend a week, but most people will strike the right balance of wonder after 2 days (without getting ‘templed out’!)

  4. Also – Bayon might be the most underrated of the Angkor complexes. Every turn brought more sculptures of smiling faces!

    I love your classic Bayon photo, kissing the King (or Buddha?). I kept coming up with interesting poses, although there’s always soooo so many people there so you need to set up the shot and be quick, which is challenging when trying to line it up.

  5. Gorgeous photos! Angkor Wat must be one of the most amazing man made structures in the whole world. I cannot recommend it highly enough. For those who plan to see it, try and visit some of the lesser toured sites away from the crowds. You will not be disappointed.

    1. You’re welcome, John! 2 days is more than enough to see the main temples and then some. In my opinion, if you spend more than that you’ll be templed out.

  6. Hey Miriam! Thank you so much for your detailed post and honesty! I am planning a trip to Angor Was by myself and can only do it in 1.5 days, so I’m really happy you posted this. When you mention day 1 vs day 2, should I assume you are there from sunrise to sunset? How should I plan to take care of meals if I am there all day? Do they have close by vendors or are we able to pack lunches etc? I don’t want to be disrespectful in this way either. Thank you so much for your insight!

    1. Hi Natalie,
      I spent maybe 5-7 hours per day at Angkor Wat (including lunch), from around 8 or 9 in the morning. I didn’t see the sunrise because it was out of season and cloudy in the morning so no reason to get up super early. Between noon and 2.30pm, many temples are empty and it’s very, very crowded at sunrise, just so you know!

      You could ask your hotel to pack a picnic and snacks, or you can go to lunch nearby. I don’t remember where I ate, but there are restaurants nearby, just take a tuk tuk there. If you’re in doubt, ask at your hotel. They’re usually very helpful and can recommend restaurants, provide bicycles and tuk tuks.

      I’m sure you’ll have a great trip. Angkor Wat is a stunner!

    1. Yes, I bought a 3-day pass. When I was there last (in 2014), these were the ticket options and prices in US$:

      One day: $20
      Three days: $40
      One week: $60

      1. Just an update: there is now a 2-day pass to Angkor Wat: $37 for one day, $68 for two. Just got back. Bayon was so crowded it was hard to enjoy. Angkor Wat, not so bad at all!

  7. Hi Myriam !

    Thanks a lot for this post, I was worried I would miss a lot since we had only two days here ( due to flight prices ) but thanks to your article we got to see the most amazing ones and even a few extra ! I totally agree with you about you temples selection and advices.

    I would like to warn you however : the pass prices did explode recently so now the one day pass is 37$, 3 days 62$, and one week 72$.

    Also, though Angkor Wat was not my favorite it is still impressive and i have an advice for those wanting to climb up the main tower : we first passed a bit before lunch by the waiting line which circles the main tower under a burning sun. And even if the waiting time to the stairs was about 15 mins only ( normally more one hour according to the signs ) we preferred to pass. But we came back one hour later so it was lunch time and we did no queue at all and had very little people on the top. So those wanting to go up : go there at lunchtime in low season ( July for us ).

    Thanks again for you article. The tips and photos made it really easy for us to plan the trip and appreciate the place and we had an amazing time 🙂 I dreamt of going there for about 8 years and I cay say this is the most amazing place I have seen in my life. Really worth the trip.

    1. So glad to hear that, Alyson! And thanks for your great advice and update on the entrance fees! I can’t believe how much they have raised the prices – they’ve almost doubled since I was there in 2014.

    2. Thanks for all the posts! Alyson, did you buy a one day ticket or the 3 day ticket during your short visit? We intend to visit in at the end of January for a short visit and only want to visit 2 or 3 temples, b’cos I have a an ADHD son with me! Please advise what’s the best option. Thanks Miriam and Alyson!

      1. Hi Candace,
        I’m just going to jump in here in case Alison doesn’t see your comment. In light of the high prices and that it’s a short visit, I recommend buying the one-day ticket. You can go early in the morning and see one or two temples without the crowds (the main temples are close to each other). Then you could go for lunch to relax and then head back for the last temple in the afternoon. Book a tuk tuk to take you around the site.

        Bayon (the head carvings), Ta Prohm (trees growing from the temples) and Angkor Wat (the main temple) are the must-see temples. If you visit them, you have a pretty good impression of Angkor Wat.

        Have a great trip with your son.

  8. Hi Miriam, I’ve read somewhere about biking in Angkor Wat. I just can’t remember where. I was wondering if there is really biking inside Angkor Wat and if you’d recommend it? Please help.

    1. Sure, you can rent bikes and bike around Angkor Wat. Just remember that the site is huge! It takes 30 minutes by tuk tuk to get to Ta Som temple (the famous doorway) while other temples are even further away. Plus, it gets extremely humid and hot there (especially from April to July) so biking is not the most comfortable way to get around.

      If you’re there to see lots of temples and don’t want to spend more than a few days, you should take a tuk tuk. But if you’re just visiting some of the main temples that are close to each other, you can bike between them.
      I hope this helps.

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